Plans of Study

General Education/University Transfer

The College is authorized to award the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university. A student who plans to transfer to a senior institution should obtain the current catalog of that institution to use as a check sheet in fulfilling freshman and sophomore course requirements of that institution.

Transfer guides are available in the advising center to help students determine what courses should be taken while at Northwest Shoals. A student in consultation with an academic advisor usually can develop an educational plan using the transfer guides that parallels the first two years of the program of the four-year institution to which the student plans to transfer. In a few instances, one or two specialized courses may not be taught, but the student can substitute electives that may fulfill the requirements of the institution to which the student will transfer. In summary, individual guides can be produced to meet the needs of the transfer student.

Entering students should be aware that it is quite common that a student will need to take additional pre-requisite courses. For example, the appropriate beginning course in mathematics or English will be determined by placement scores and high school preparation; the beginning course in Computer Information Systems program will depend on the prior experience of the student in computers and mathematics. A student may be required to enroll in a reading course prior to some college courses.

Every effort is made to ensure that the courses and programs described in this catalog are offered to students in an appropriate and reasonable sequence. Students should be aware, however, that admission to the College or registration for a given semester does not guarantee the availability of a specific course or a program of courses that may be under review for continuance. Availability of courses and programs is determined by student demand, instructor availability, and periodic program reviews. Whenever a program is determined to have insufficient numbers to continue institutional support, students currently enrolled will, whenever possible, be given notification of the decision and sufficient time to complete the program with continuous enrollment. If new students are enrolled after this decision, they will be advised of the tentative status of the program and their potential inability to complete the program at this institution.

Alabama Transfers

Alabama Transfers (also called STARS – Statewide Articulation Reporting System) is a computerized articulation and transfer planning system designed to inform students who attend Alabama Community Colleges about degree requirements, course equivalents, and other transfer information pertaining to specific majors at each state funded four-year institution. Students planning to transfer to an Alabama public senior institution should print and retain the Transfer Guide for their major along with the transfer institution’s Area V courses. Failure to follow this guide may result in courses not being transferable. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the requirements of the intended transfer senior institution. Students interested in receiving an Alabama Transfers Guide should visit their website at or contact their advisor.


University Parallel Transfer Guides are available in the Advising Center or by visiting an academic advisor.

Associate in Arts Degree

General Liberal Arts
Teacher Education
Pre-Elementary Education
Pre-Secondary Education

Associate in Science Degree

Business Administration
Child Development
Computer Information Systems
Environmental Health & Safety
General Education
Medical Technology
Pre-Chemical Laboratory Technician
Pre-Computer Science
Pre-Criminal Justice
Pre-Environmental Biology
Pre-Environmental Science
Pre-Financial Planning & Counseling
Pre-Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Pre-Industrial Hygiene
Pre-Nursing (B.S.N.)
Pre-Physical Therapy
Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Water & Wastewater Management & Technology